NAIROBI, 4 May 2021 – The leaders of Kenya and Tanzania say their countries have opened a new chapter in their trade deals, by lifting most trade barriers.
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya told reporters Tuesday in Nairobi that he and his guest, visiting Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, agreed to improve their countries’ ties in trade, infrastructure, transport, tourism, culture, and security.
“We have instructed ministers to be meeting from time to time to resolve issues that cause problems for the relationship between the two countries. We want to make everything easy for the two nations,” Kenyatta told reporters at State House on Tuesday.
Suluhu Hassan said she chose Kenya to visit for her first visit abroad in recognition of the role Kenya plays as the fifth biggest investor in Tanzania.
There are 513 huge Kenyan investments in Tanzania worth $1.7 billion, Suluhu Hassan told reporters.
The Kenyan government says there are 30 Tanzanian businesses in Kenya employing 2,600 people.
Suluhu Hassan further announced that the two countries had agreed to cooperate in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We want testing and clearance at the borders to be fast so as not to hinder trade,” the Tanzanian leader added.
At the height of Tanzania’s denialism of the existence of COVID-19, Kenyan borders with Tanzania were closed down.
Kenya and Tanzania also signed an agreement to construct a gas pipeline between the two countries – linking the port cities of Mombasa in Kenya and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
Uhuru Kenyatta said that the two leaders also agreed on a partnership between Kenya Airways and Air Tanzania to boost the airline services.
The two leaders also discussed the possibility of reviving the ship transportation in Lake Victoria from Jinja in Uganda, Kenya to Tanzania.
Uhuru Kenyatta and Suluhu Hassan also said that the security between the two countries was discussed, including the efforts to end terrorism from the Al Shabaab militants who have launched frequent attacks within Kenya and are active on Mozambique’s border with Tanzania.